TN: Surprise! I wanted to finish the last digest chapter but it seemed to be the exact same thing as ‘Zelda’s troubles’ so I skipped it.
So here’s the 1st chapter of the new arc! Enjoy~
Sorry I had it delayed a day. My fever is getting worse…. Damn it.
The horse carriage rattled.
Without realizing it, we had passed the streets and was traveling along the seemingly endless stretch of grassland. The warm rays of sunshine made a perfect atmosphere for a nap but unfortunately, my situation did not allow me to.
” Ouch….. ouch…!! ”
That beautiful grasslands that just screamed ‘This is nature!’ were of course, not man-made. Which meant the horse carriage was swaying to its fullest on the unpaved road.
Was there a time where I had hated the smallness of my body as much as when I rode a carriage? None.
Every time the carriage shook, my small and light body jumped. It was as amusing as you thought. Buu-san, who was acting as the coachman was still all right but looking at Zirco-san, who was sitting snugly opposite of me, with his eyes closed, caused a wave of murderous intent over me.
Damn it. I don’t wish to be fat but I really want some weight right now. I want to start planning a weight-up program right now.
No, wait a minute.
Not weight, just the bouncing. What was wrong with the bouncing? Easy. My butt, my bottom, my gluteus maximus hurts from all the bouncing. Very very much so.
You see, what goes up have to come down. When I bounce, I have to land.
” ……This is stupid. ”
I found myself getting depressed after I-don’t-know-how-many hours of continuous bouncing. It might be better to find a way to get rid of this pain.
This rugged, adventurer-look carriage, with its rough wooden seat that was simply covered with a sailcloth was dealing a lot more damage than the exquisite carriage Nobles rode in.
This is going to be useful in the future. Failure is the mother to success. Need is the mother to inventions.
As I stared at the moving scenery from the opening at the back of the carriage, I floated above my seat.
Somehow, I felt a hot gaze from Zirco-san but it must be my imagination. The sigh must be my ears hearing things too.
He must be thinking ‘ Why did you only think of it now, you idiot? ‘. How rude! What are you saying to an innocent 8 years old?!
And there I was, raging by myself.
But I was sure I guessed it 80%. Yep. All within my brain. By myself. I am not lonely!
My speculation if the [Shadow]’s base would be in the [East Demon Forest] was shot down by John-sensei at Mach speed. It was overthrown easily. That gaze, the way he said it. Moreover, the way he ended it by stroking my head gently! I hated myself who had no comeback and could only looked up to him!
I am still young. ‘I will grow as tall as the trees and leave John-sensei in the dust!’ I vowed in my heart.
Anyway, it seemed that the history of [Shadows] was older than the founding of Elzmu. It seemed, because no one had ever seen the [Shadows] in action. It was when the details of the case was checked that people noticed that it might be the work of [Shadows].
Right now, this continent had 4 countries but Elzmu was only founded, very suddenly, around 200 years ago. The 3 older countries were Hadazerl at the West, South mercantile nation Dyuvu and North Hattuo Empire. Although they did have traces of overstepping each other but it was difficult to think that they would go out of their way to build a hiding place at such a dangerous place. Plus it was highly unlikely that they would move around [East Demon Forest] as according to their scope of activities.
‘In that case, what about the [Central Demon Forest]?’ you might ask but no. As you know, that forest was being used as the route for transit trade between countries. I don’t know about Hadazerl and Hattuo but to attack a place this close to their own country was just a bad strategy as well as an unprofitable one.
Which was why I needed to turn this around on its head and deduce from the information I got from the incidents. Or rather, I was already doing that. Had I forgotten it? Tee-hee.
But, even if I had read uncountable mystery novels in my previous life, the knowledge and common sense I held about this world was only about 8 years’ worth. In short, I am using everyone as my google.
But that was what an adviser was. There were plans for John-sensei to work under the Beryl family as our scholar / researcher after I graduate. He wishes for it as well and of course, me too. He wouldn’t judge me even if I said something weird, my jokes got through and above all, it was fun talking to him. I don’t know if it’s friendship or only me who was feeling this way but I would like to think it went both ways.
It was as how famous politician always had a personal legal adviser in my previous world, here, Nobles would have a scholar beside them. As for Father….. hmm. I don’t remember anyone besides him. Anyway, a personal adviser. They would be someone you fully trusted as they would need to handle sensitive information as well.
When it is my rule, I would love to have him beside me. I can trust him. And I am fortunate to be able to do that. I have to give my thanks to Father because he comes to discuss with me despite there are some troubles with the Veltor family.
Oh, I should give my thanks to god as well for the miracle that John-sensei was present at my debut party?
Dear god, thank you.
……And the topic had strayed very far.
I was pulled back to reality by the loud rattling of this large horse carriage and, at the same time, a voice could be heard coming from the front.
” A magical beast came out. ”
……There was no sense of nervousness at all!
This was my first encounter with a magical beast at the grasslands you know?!
I stopped Zirco-san, who stood up immediately, and simply floated out through the back window and around over to where Buu-san was.
” …..! ”
I looked over to where the magical beast was and was stunned. This must be ‘fate’ people was talking about. Beside me, Buu-san could be heard swallowing.
” A….Ajipo…!! ”
Why did it appear in the grasslands? It looked so out-of-place here.
In front of us, around 100 meters, was a huge octopus with its 8 legs floating around.
” Er…. 《鎌鼬》! ”
[TN: Kamaitachi, whirlwind cut, or a certain weasel-like yokai. But I doubt he’s summoning one. ]
It would be better not to use other attributes in front of Zirco-san. I tried attacking with the wind attribute I was currently using to keep myself afloat, Ajipo was turned into sashimi splendidly. [TN: Sashimi, raw slices of fish]
Easy. Too easy.
I really wanted a cool battle.
And thus, my very first you-can’t-even-called-it-a-battle with an encountered magical beast ended all too quick.
” ….This is too relaxing….. ”
Buu-san and Zirco-san might have heard my mumble as a wryly smile appeared on their stunned faces.
” ……As usual eh. ”
Shu, shut up!
” Why would an Ajipo be here? ”
” …..Someone (enemy) brought it here? ”
Zirco-san did not answer my question. To think I directed it to him! Taking pity, Buu-san answered it instead.
As for Zirco-san, he was stuffing himself silly with an extremely delighted expression that no one could imagined he was capable of.
Yep, it’s delicious, wasn’t it?
Because I made that takoyaki! It was as genuine as it could be! I am not just showing off. It was hard work concocting the sauce by using the spices from this world but the frying was perfect! All the hard work that went into training my tongue and nose was finally paying off. I was thankful for all the part-time jobs that I did.
The left-over Ajipo meat was stored inside my subspace. Ah, it was really handy. I did not mind that Zirco-san’s eyeballs were about to pop out when he saw how I stored it inside my clasped pendent. I can use the excuse that it’s a magic tool.
Since I bribed (takoyaki) him, there was no problem.
The timing Ajipo appeared was just nice for lunch so we stopped the carriage and took a break. Ignoring Zirco-san, who was stuffing his face, I asked.
” …..Why? ”
” You’re asking why! It’s because it’s Will-sama but normally, people would have a harddd time dealing with it!! ”
” A harddd time? ”
Ah. I got lured into stretching the end-sound by Buu-san. Hmm. I thought Ajipo was a sea creature but someone really worked hard in bringing it here. And it was instantly turned into our food provision. Don’t mind. Thanks for the feast.
” …..It might be the sea birds who did it. ”
A sudden interruption. Ah, Zirco-san had finished eating. His expressionless face was somehow transmitting a feeling of satisfaction.
” Sea birds? ”
” Yes. A type of magical beast that lived along the waterside. They would grab their food as they fly over the water surface. ”
Zirco-san took a handkerchief out of his pocket-less black clothing and wiped his mouth.
” Ah, sea birds. That’s right, there’s should be a river around here. ”
Buu-san said, agreeing.
Hm? Why were there Sea birds at a river? I don’t understand.
Or perhaps, the pronunciation was s-e-a b-i-r-d-s, without any meaning behind it. Yep, that must be it. I heard it as Japanese naturally as it was a Ninja that said it. Ha ha. To think the First Founder even left his traces here! What a fun guy.
I tried thinking once more, in John-sensei’s laboratory. The aim of the enemy was our scale and method. Which meant, the mastermind was a person using others as pieces to attack, seeing that he did not stop after that incident 3 years ago.
I had no doubt that the mastermind was the same person behind this recent incident as well as the incident 3 years ago where he used a [shadow] to stir up the flames and even resort to kidnapping. And this time, he even used a summoned beast. And thanks to Buu-san, we found out that Caralsdoni-san was used by a [Shadow] as well.
We too, confirmed that a [Shadow] was the owner of Abi, the summoned beast, who attacked Selphy. I understood that he were aiming for me. The question was, was the mastermind the [Shadow] or did he use one?
Buu-san, Bibinyaru-san and even Chiffon did not know who their boss was and not even the base. They were forced to faint by the collar and when they woke up, they were already inside a building.
The [Shadows] whom had hidden for hundreds of years. There were not even a sniff of them and now we were in a stalemate.
In that case, there might be someone who had the space and power to keep the entire [Shadow] in. And he used them many times over. He would need an enormous budget and in addition, the technology to create those [Slave Collars].
When it came to this, a vague silhouette could be seen.
Instead of waiting for them, there was value in chasing after them instead, even if it was the wrong lead.
Which was why Buu-san, Zirco-san and me were heading towards Hattuo Empire in the North. We could reach the border, the Iza river, of Hattuo if we traveled a little distance from the North of the capital. I said a little distance but it was in fact quite a long way there.
Slavery was approved in Hattuo. Beastmen and kidnapped children were smuggled into Hattuo and sold into slavery. Once they crossed the Iza river, Elzmu cannot lift a hand against them. Plus, the Emperor of Hattuo was against Beastmen and was with the idea of human supremacy.
It was a country perfect to create [Shadows].
Why did we not think of it before? Its existence was so… black.
And now, under a merchant disguise, Zirco-san, his son, me and our guard, Buhual were traveling along the road to Hattuo Empire smoothly.
” If it is really the Sea Bird who dropped it, that means we are very near the Iza river. ”
My excitement rose a little at the aspect of seeing a river as I really had enough of all these grass.